Lawyers and managers in law firms and legal departments are recruiting for both permanent and contract positions in the first half of 2024, making the demand for skilled talent high for Canadians. To meet their hiring goals, companies must continue finding innovative ways to attract and retain both long-term and short-term talent. Leaders for law firms and legal teams face hiring challenges and increased competition for positions that call for general administrative, corporate, and legal support skills. Their biggest challenge? Legal professionals are hesitant to leave their current jobs. Approaches such as offering above-average compensation and engaging recruiters to help you tap into the pool of passive job seekers are more important than ever. In addition, attracting skilled talent is increasingly about how well a company can provide a healthy work/life balance. 
Law firms in major Canadian markets are seeing a high demand for their services. Still, half of legal employers say finding candidates with the required skill sets is their greatest hiring challenge in 2024. Legal professionals are trying to attain better work-life balance through remote and hybrid work arrangements, although many employers want them fully in-office. According to Robert Half recruiters, this can contribute to positions being left unstaffed. In addition, Robert half recruiters are also noticing corporate legal departments are slowing hiring compared to past years. Employers across Canada can’t find the candidates they need for permanent roles but their solution to keeping projects on track has been engaging talent solutions firms to staff contract positions.
The following positions are in the top 15 per cent of legal roles in demand, according to an analysis of thousands of job postings and Robert Half placements: Contract ManagerLaw Clerk ManagerLawyer, 2-3 Years’ ExperienceParalegal
The current hiring focuses are as follows: 67 per cent of legal managers are hiring new staff for permanent roles 31 per cent are focused on backfilling permanent roles that have been vacated An overwhelming 84 per cent of managers are struggling to find skilled legal talent
Here’s what’s topping the agenda of leaders in the legal sector: For law firms: 1.     Technology integration 2.     Data security and privacy compliance 3.     Expansion of practice areas 4.     Client acquisition and diversification 5.     DE&I efforts For legal departments: 1.     Environmental, social and governance efforts 2.     Legal optimization and efficiency 3.     Risk and litigation management 4.     Technology implementation and automation 5.     Cost control and management 
In a strategic shift, 90 per cent of legal leaders are gearing up to increase their use of contract professionals in the first half of 2024. This move is about more than just temporarily addressing staff shortages; it's about accessing specialized skills crucial in today’s legal job market. Law firms need contract talent for: Law firm administration (e.g., legal administrator, office manager) General administrative (e.g., administrative assistant, file clerk) Lawyer Legal departments need contract talent for: Legal administrative (e.g., legal secretary, administrative assistant) Corporate/in-house counsel Litigation support/eDiscovery
In the first half of 2024: 18 per cent of legal professionals are contemplating a job change 36 per cent are actively searching for new opportunities 46 per cent are not looking to switch jobs This indicates that a portion of the legal workforce is open to new prospects. To attract and retain this skilled talent, law firms and legal departments must focus on offering not just competitive salaries but also flexible work arrangements and clear paths for career advancement. Learn more tactics for attracting top legal talent.
The Demand for Skilled Talent report by Robert Half is an authoritative source providing essential insights into 2024's employment trends. This report has offered a deep dive into Canada’s hiring landscape for over a decade, spotlighting challenges and strategies to attract and retain talent in today’s job market. It explores what employees seek in their careers, identifies common recruitment errors and suggests solutions. The report spans sectors like finance, technology, marketing, legal and human resources, proving crucial for business leaders and managers. Data methodology This report's in-demand role data is collated from Robert Half placements, Statistics Canada information, and job postings TalentNeuron. It encompasses over one hundred thousand new positions from hundreds of independent job boards and company websites, including over 8,000 placements from Robert Half Canada. Positions are categorized to over 350 job titles within Robert Half Canada’s 2024 Salary Guide using a proprietary mapping methodology that employs state-of-the-art large language models. This dataset includes roles across the administrative and customer support, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, marketing and creative, and technology professions.